Los Angeles Forum
December 17, 2008
Metallica was back. And they were back in a big way. The release of Death Magnetic proved that life after death does indeed exist. 2008’s Death Magnetic cd is undoubtably the strongest and truest cd Metallica has created since …And Justice For All or, as some may argue, The Black Album. Regardless, Metallica, proved once again that they were still the greatest and biggest rock band in the world.
As Metallica readied for The World Magnetic Tour, I got a taste of it early as I shot the first two warm-up gigs before the tour officially kicked off. These shows were great, but nothing like the actual Magnetic shows that are still rolling across the globe.
As they did on their last tour, Metallica chose to play in the round, giving the fans an equal chance at seeing the band up close and from all angles. I knew I was going to be doing a lot of running and chasing again, so I staked out my starting point and readied for the band. As the lights dropped out and their intro music rang, my hands immediately got clammy and wet…just like the old days. This was a good sign, I was excited, focused.
The band hit the stage and tore into That Was Just Your Life. Lasers shot everywhere, but the stage remained dark. There was no way to shoot, I could only see the band when the blue lasers would hit or hang on them. This was not good, at least not for me, but the crowd loved it. At last the lights sprang up as the band broke into The End Of The Line. Now I could get to work. The band was so driven, pushing each other and challenging each other’s energy.
As the opening notes of Creeping Death blared through the arena, massive, white caskets dropped over the band from overhead. It was eerie, yet beautiful. Metallica’s vision was crystal clear and it was all connecting with their fans. I never stopped moving and running around that stage, chasing down each member of the band.
This shot of James Hetfield really seems to capture the power and angst that makes Metallica who they are.
Photographed with my Nikon D300 and a Nikon 24mm-70mm lens.
Personal Historical Note: This was the debut of my gradual switch from Canon to Nikon.